Lab Rat is the first mission in StarCraft II: Heart of the Swarm.
Having been abandoned to the zerg at New Gettysburg by her superior, Sarah Kerrigan was captured and infested by the Overmind as part of the creature's scheme to undermine his creator's malevolent plans. While in the service of the Overmind, Kerrigan found the means to undo her ghost conditioning.
With the possibility that the Keystone, once assembled, could revert zerg infestation and warned by Dark Prelate Zeratul of the catastrophic outcome inevitably tied to Kerrigan's death, Commander Jim Raynor traveled to Char and used the Keystone to make Kerrigan human again.
Three weeks after the invasion of Char, Kerrigan was taken to Research Station EB-103. She claimed to have little recollection of her time while infested. Nonetheless, Crown Prince Valerian Mengsk tested her ability to control zerg, and she created a small hive cluster with a single starting drone.
Dissatisfied from being confined in a cell, and determined to teach Valerian the foolishness of attempting to control the zerg, Kerrigan took the test beyond its parameters which included spawning zerglings. The zerg broke out of the test chamber and rampaged through the sublevel, resulting in significant material damage but no human casualties.
"I appreciate that, I'm opening your cell right now, if you'd like to join me. And perhaps next time you can make your point without destroying half the facility?"
Valerian was annoyed, but also suitable chastised, by Kerrigan's demonstration. He released her from containment cell.
For the first several minutes of the walkthrough, Valerian will guide Kerrigan through making a hatchery, gathering minerals using drones, and mutating a spawning pool. Once the player commands six zerglings, the doors to the holding pen will open and sentry bots will begin destroying the holding cells down the hallway. Destroying these sentry bots will release more zerglings under Kerrigan's control.
The path through the lab is mostly linear, with sentry bots and automated turrets barring the way. Scientists are also around, but will flee when the zerglings approach and move too fast to catch. Near the entrance to the holding pen where the zerglings escape from is a generator for a holding cell, destroying it will release more zerglings to control. As the player moves through the area to the next level of the lab, gas emitting turrets activate, damaging all zerg in their vicinity. To unseal the doors out of the room the player must destroy these turrets. To the right of the room is another generator and holding cell with zerglings to take control of. After leaving this area the player will find a small sub-level with two holding pen of zerglings and a single generator, guarded by several sentry bots. In the final area of the lab, the player will find several sentry bots and the eradicator. Destroying it will end the level.
Throughout the level, the player is free to continue mining with their drones and mutate more zerglings to reinforce their army. However, there is no room in the lab to build additional hatcheries.
Complete the “Lab Rat” mission in the Heart of the Swarm campaign.
Destroy 35 sentry bots the “Lab Rat” mission.
The achievement name is a reference to the 1940s cartoon series Mighty Mouse.
Complete the “Lab Rat” mission in less than 10 minutes on Normal difficulty.
Destroy 3 Factories in the “Lab Rat” mission in less than 10 minutes on Hard difficulty.
- If drones are used to attack in the hallway toward the first factory, Valerian expresses surprise that Kerrigan is not attacking with zerglings.
- Special dialogue from the adjutant, translating its instructions into a "native zerg language" (a series of zerg unit quotes), will play if the player remains idle instead of following its commands during the first portion of the mission.
- Special dialogue will play from Valerian if the player continuously canceled their hatchery. Dialogue will also play if the player commands their zerglings to move into Valerian's observation chamber.
- Data in the Galaxy Map Editor indicates there would have been spine crawlers, firebats, and zerglings not under Kerrigan's control some point in the mission's development.